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Is the Axe FX worth it and should I get one?

Discussion in 'Digital & Modeling Gear' started by METAL, Dec 5, 2017.

  1. KennyM

    KennyM Supporting Member

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    I had a considerable amount of time with reconstruction of a new live room at my studio where I wasn't gonna be able to mic any amps up. While I find some of the software amp modeling usable I wanted something that was going to be a step up from the plugins and bought an Axe FXII. Construction's all done and I've actually been buying some vintage amps to add to the old arsenal and migrating back to the real. That said and even amongst some classic real amps, the AxeII is still a keeper and worth every dime. No comparison with the software and while there's two Kemper's here in the other studios which sound perfectly great, I think the Axe is a better studio tool more capable of dialing in things to a microscopic degree. It'd be a great worthy piece of gear for any guitarist.
     
  2. GoBeavs68

    GoBeavs68 Member

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    Get your feet wet with a used AX8, see if you like it, then sell if for what you paid and jump to the AXEFX.

    That’s what I planned on doing, but never got beyond step two. I still have my AX8 2 nearly years on.
     
  3. LaXu

    LaXu Member

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    Over the 5 years I've owned the Axe-Fx 2 I have avoided buying more tube amps completely so in that sense the Axe 2 has totally been worth it!

    There is still not a unit on the market that has as many features as the Axe. Whether you need all the features is up to you to decide, I probably use a fraction but I don't like floorboard units so the AX8 is a non-starter for me. It is a bit easier to operate though thanks to better control placement. With the Axe-Fx 2 most of the time you will use it connected to a computer with the Axe-Edit software because the front panel is a bit rubbish. The Axe-Edit software itself is the best software editor on current modelers. It is fast to use and allows both the normal user and the power user to tinker as much as they want or only as much as they need. I consider myself more in the normal user category so I rarely touch the advanced settings beyond messing with the tube types.

    When it comes to latency, Axe-Fx 2 is super low. According to Fractal total system latency is about 1ms. So when actually playing thru the unit you will experience no latency. When recording you are subject to buffer latency just like any audio interface. The lowest supported buffer size on the Axe-Fx 2 is 32 samples so it's not really an issue either.

    For several years the Axe-Fx 2 was pretty much the uncontested king of amp modeling. Now the Kemper and Line6 Helix are able to come very close to it and you can get a great sound of any of the top dogs. It comes down to what you value the most. The Kemper is a bit different in its purpose and operation so the closest contender is the Helix. Where it trumps the Axe-Fx is front panel user interface and price. Its software editor is not quite as good (but quite ok) and it doesn't have as many amp models, effects or parameters to mess with.

    I suggest you try the Helix Native trial version and see if that works for your needs as it is a pretty good deal if you need good amp modeling but not something giggable (or are ok bringing a laptop and audio interface). That should give you a good idea on how the Helix hardware sounds and operates at least.
     
  4. Ejay

    Ejay Supporting Member

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    Latency should not have to be an issue....something is going on in your set up.

    I play a kpa...but would i only play at home, i’d be switching to s gear. Sounds great! A/B against kpa the kpa wins, but s gear comes very very close.

    Most important reason to keep the kpa is because its simple to use live...plug in to foh and the return of a present combo...and your good to go.

    Matter of time before we do the same thing by plugging into our iphone! So If there is no compelling reason to have modeling outside of your home...id say put your money into something more sustainable and fix that latency issue.
     
  5. quilsaw

    quilsaw Supporting Member

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    The film analogy is spot on. Got a lovely and expensive SLR kit right here that I'd love to sell for more than $100.

    And, it's not as if any die-hard aficionado can't tell the difference, but, by-and-large, the (relatively minor) qualitative differences are outweighed by such huge advantages in convenience, relative cost, adaptability to other technical processes, etc.

    You could say the same about recording tech...would love to know how many die-hard tube guys are ready, willing and able to go full analog with one of these rigs...

    [​IMG]
     
    jzgtrguy and Frank Ritchotte like this.
  6. ColdFrixion

    ColdFrixion Member

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    Yes, there are people who can't seem to exercise any self restraint when it comes to using the advanced controls and ultimately wind up feeling overwhelmed. The cure is simple; stop nosing around the advanced parameters and use the controls that relate to the knobs on the real amp exclusively.
     
  7. Robotechnology

    Robotechnology Supporting Member

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    For direct recording... I recommend the AxeFX wholeheartedly! I had it twice. Any gripes had nothing to do with that end or even something under Fractal’s control. I like playing thru regular guitar cabs if not recording. And when you do that, the amp models start to sound very similar... duh. Again nothing inherently wrong with AxeFX or any modeler for that matter. As all of their models would sound less distinct through the same conventional Guitar cabinet.
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2017
  8. Jarrett

    Jarrett Member

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    I understand this a bit. If my job was to actually write music, I'd rather have a simple amp to two so I could focus on music creation rather than sound creation.

    On the other hand, if my job was to record guitar parts, I'd want an Axe-FX and/or Helix around.
     
  9. ColdFrixion

    ColdFrixion Member

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    Personally, I strive to keep things simple when writing by focusing primarily on the melody, and I often find it beneficial to work on music with the guitar unplugged.
     
  10. Saint Luminus

    Saint Luminus Member

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    Who on here can answer that question legitimately? No one. I don't know if you will be happy with an Axe FX. Only you will know that by actually using one. Is it worth the money? No one can answer that question legitimately except you.

    I know its not the answer you want, but the truth is you need to actually use an AxeFx to figure out if its worth it or if you will be happy. Are you really letting other people decide whether you will be happy?
     
  11. Jarick

    Jarick Supporting Member

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    I like Fractal a lot more than the plugins I was using. I just don't like playing around in software. I like knobs. And the latency was MUCH better, almost non-existent.

    Money no object, go for the Axe FX. You may still need to play around with IR's but it shouldn't be a massive time and money sink unless you want it to be.

    Also, I recommend downloading the trial of Helix Native and playing with that using external IR's. It changes the sound and feel a fair amount vs the stock cabs IMO.
     
  12. ColdFrixion

    ColdFrixion Member

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    He's just asking for opinions.
     
  13. Pat6969

    Pat6969 Supporting Member

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    I don't like to get into pissing contests anymore but a few of you gentlemen on this board should really reel it in a bit. Too many of these threads end up in a battle over who's right and who's wrong, it totally detracts from the meat of the thread and it's getting old. Make you're point and move on. I realize it's a discussion board but when the heart of the OP's thread ends up 180 degrees on its a$$, there's something wrong.
     
    jimfist likes this.
  14. JLee

    JLee Supporting Member

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    I love my Axe! Life changing piece of gear!!
    I own Amplitube 4, Bias Desktop, S-Gear and Helix Native.
     
    Frank Ritchotte likes this.
  15. Pat6969

    Pat6969 Supporting Member

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    Wow! Life changing! That's pretty deep! I've had a few life changing episodes in my life, my wedding day, birth of my three kids, the days my mom and dad passed away. Never thought about my AX8 in that sense though. Great piece of gear nonetheless.
     

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